Cricket Australia hopeful of Windies tour amidst COVID-19 threat


Cricket Australia hopeful of Windies tour amidst COVID-19 threat

Saturday, May 30, 2020

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MELBOURNE, Australia (CMC) — Cricket Australia have pencilled West Indies into its summer programme and says they are confident they can pull off the itinerary amidst the threat posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In the itinerary released Thursday, Cricket Australia have scheduled the Windies for three Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) from October 4-9, with India to follow immediately afterwards in another three-match series.

The games represent part of Australia's preparation for the T20 World Cup, set to bowl off here from October 18 to November 15, which remains under a cloud due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cricket Australia chief executive, Kevin Roberts, said the governing body had been encouraged by the way authorities here had managed the pandemic.

“While acknowledging the difficulty in navigating a global pandemic, we are nonetheless encouraged by the progress Australia is making in combatting the coronavirus, and the positive impact that is having on our ability to host an exciting summer of cricket in 2020-21,” Roberts said.

“We know that circumstances or events beyond our control could mean that the final schedule potentially may look different to the one released today, but we'll be doing everything we can to get as much international cricket in as possible this summer. We will communicate any changes to the schedule if or when they are required.”

No cricket has been staged globally in nearly three months after governments across the world scrambled to lock down their respective borders, to mitigate against the spread of the virus.

Australia was among the first countries to initiate lockdowns back in March, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this week the borders were unlikely to reopen “anytime soon”.

The country has recorded 7,155 infections and 103 deaths.

Roberts said Cricket Australia's summer programme, which also includes a one-day series against Zimbabwe in August and a women's one-day and T20 series against neighbouring New Zealand in September/October, would only go ahead once the environment remained safe.

“We are engaged in ongoing discussions with federal and state governments, our venues and the touring nations to continually understand and monitor the situation in front of us, which is evolving every day,” he explained.

“We'll continue to act in accordance with public health advice and government protocols to ensure the safety of the public, players, and support staff.”

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